If you are looking for a new viola, you'll want to check out these five incredible contemporary instruments from some of the best makers in the world!
Each of these violas has its own unique sound and personality, so it's important to find the one that's perfect for you. Whether you're looking for a more treble or bass focused sound, we've got you covered!
Maker: Paolo Vettori
Model: Gasparo da Salò
This rare viola by Paolo Vettori is one of the most remarkable instruments we have seen. The craftsmanship is truly unique and the front plate is made out of 200-year-old wood. The one-piece back is also a marvel! The sound is rich, powerful and most importantly, balanced, which can be one of the most difficult aspects of a viola to get right. From the bottom of the C to the top of the A string, the viola sounds uniform and clear throughout.
Paolo Vettori is one of the most established makers on our list and his stunning instruments have been played by top musicians for years. He has a unique style and an innovative spirit which you can see reflected in his work. His craftsmanship is excellent and he produces very fine instruments. He works with his two sons, Dario and Lapo, and his daughter Sofia, all fine makers themselves. Together, the team at Vettori workshop creates some of the finest violas you'll ever hear.
Their instruments are played by soloists as well as many orchestral principals due to their powerful and projecting sound.
Maker: Frantisek Küs
Model: Antonio Stradivari Tuscan Medici 1690
This viola has a two piece back made of Bosnian maple with vivid curls of medium width slanting downwards from the treble to the bass side. The sides are manufactured of the same wood. The head is made of similar Bosnian maple. The top is made of two pieces of finely grained spruce. The varnish is of golden color with a small amount of red pigment over a golden ground. It is extremely easy to play and has a warm and balanced tone throughout all registers.
František Kůs is a master luthier from Ostrov, Czech Republic. He has studied with several renowned violin makers including Jan and Přemysl O. Špidlen. He's won numerous competitions in Cremona, the United States, and the Czech Republic.
Maker: Benoit Bonten
A lovely viola crafted by Bonten, a Master Luthier from France, in his workshop. The body length is 40.5 cm (16 inches), which is ideal for violists of all sizes. It has a lovely sound and a lot of projection for its size. Suitable for a soloist or chamber musician.
I first became interested in violin construction when I was in Buenos Aires in 2001. I studied restoration and subsequently violin making under Omar Nigrelli's guidance for most of my time there. In 2008, I began working as an assistant to Gonzalo Bayolo, a renowned violin maker in Santiago de Compostela. I am now in my own workshop in Aveyron, and I specialise in violas and cellos.
Maker: Colin Cross
An absolutely stunning viola by one of our favourite British makers, Colin Cross. Made with very old seasoned wood, this viola is a true masterpiece in making. It has a beautiful one piece back with elegant antiquing throughout. Due to its small size, it's extremely easy to play and responds very well. It also sounds much more powerful than its size suggests so the sound will have no issues cutting through.
Colin's reputation as a restorer of considerable skill has been well earned. Professional players, violin dealerships across the country, and other players, often bring specific projects hundreds of miles for his specialist restoration.
Maker: Fabien Peyruc
A beautifully crafted viola, made by Master Luthier Peyruc in his workshop in Toulouse, France. The body length is 41,5 cm (16.3 inches) and well suited to violists of all sizes. It has a beautiful tone and powerful projection. Suited for a soloist or chamber player.
I began my apprenticeship in 1999, at the I.P.I.A.L.L. Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy. I finished my training at the School of Stringed Instrument-making in Mirecourt, where I was awarded my Craft Diploma in 2003. In January 2009, I took over the Delfour workshop and settled in Toulouse.
These five violas represent some of the best contemporary makers in the world. Each one is crafted with great skill and care, and has a unique sound that will appeal to different musicians. Whether you're looking for a soloist instrument or something that can cut through an orchestra, one of these violas will be perfect for you.
MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The idea was to provide musicians with exceptional instruments at a price they can afford. We travelled Europe in search for the best contemporary makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.